Hainan eases path for seafarers to be certified

2023-06-18 Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

The Hainan Maritime Safety Administration issued China's first foreign ship captain certificate recognition visa to a Chinese crew member holding a ship captain competency certificate.

The crew member who applied for the recognition visa already held a Singapore certificate for ship captain. Singapore and China have signed a reciprocity agreement recognizing each other's competency certifications.

Under international conventions and China's laws and regulations, seafarers holding certificates of competency at the management level for crew members issued by other countries that have reciprocity with China, including captains, chief mates, chief engineers and second engineers working on a Chinese ship, may obtain a foreign seafarer's certificate of competency document from maritime administrative agencies.

Before applying for the document, crew members holding certificates of competency at the management level are required to attend a short training and pass an assessment. The training courses are mainly about China's laws and regulations on maritime safety and environment protection, according to the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration.

To ensure the issuance of the recognition visa, the administration said the training and assessment required to obtain the recognition document, including training institutions' qualifications, and provide outlines of the training content, class subject matter and assessment forms.

For seafarers holding Singaporean certificates of competency for operations, such as sailors and mechanics on duty, their foreign certificate recognition visa will be issued directly, according to the administration.

Lu Guangwei, director of the crew management department of the administration, said this issuance will further ease the restrictions on the employment of seafarer holding certificates from countries that have signed a reciprocity agreement recognizing each other's competency certifications with China, and promote the formation of a distinct seafarer management system for the Hainan free trade port to draw more high-quality talent for the development of Hainan's shipping industry.

By allowing foreign shipowners to hire foreign seafarers who meet the requirements of China's laws and regulations, Hainan hopes to attract foreign shipowners to register their ships in the free trade port, according to the administration.

The issuance is also a solution to the problem that the management level crew members who hold a foreign certificate of competency cannot serve in China. This change is expected to attract Chinese-funded vessels flying flags of convenience to return and register in Hainan, said the administration.


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